Women’s Track and Field Firing on All Cylinders

By Ross Joswick
Staff Writer

This article was originally published in Issue 9, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (February 18, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.

Coach Gordon Hornig has his team firing on all cylinders. The decorated and long-standing coach of the women’s track and field squad displayed his pride in his team’s accomplishments thus far this season and expressed their confidence heading into the post-season.

“The kids understand what we have, and they work hard,” Hornig said. “They’re self-motivators, and as a coach you love to have that.”

Freshman sprinter Robyn Somers runs at the DeSchriv- er Invitational at East Stroudsburg University in February. Photo by Pat Jacoby.
Freshman sprinter Robyn Somers runs at the DeSchriv- er Invitational at East Stroudsburg University in February. Photo by Pat Jacoby.

The formula seems to be working as the team has produced outstanding results of late. Sophomore Veronica Wheeler, fresh off a cross country season in which she qualified for the NCAA national meet, is ranked second in the Middle Atlantic Conference in the 5,000-meter run, a race she won at last year’s outdoor MAC championships. Freshmen Angelina Biondo and Meaghan Driscoll are ranked first and third, respectively, in the MAC at 3,000-meters and third and fifth in in the mile run. And their distance medley relay team of Biondo, Driscoll, freshman Robyn Summers and junior Beth Dauer ran an Eastern College Athletic Conference-qualifying 12:33.59 (converted from 12:25.61 to accommodate for a banked track) at last week’s Fastrack National Invite in Staten Island, N.Y.

Those accomplishments are stellar, but Hornig said they wouldn’t be possible without the leadership his upperclassmen have shown this year.

Junior Katie Downing placed in the top three of three different events at the Muhlenberg College Invitational in January. Photo by Pat Jacoby.
Junior Katie Downing placed in the top three of three different events at the Muhlenberg College Invitational in January. Photo by Pat Jacoby.

“Our seniors are a great bunch of kids,” he said. “They’re the ones that have gotten the team to be a team instead of a group of individuals.”

Hornig also spoke about his team’s success when hitting the books.

“Academically, we have a great team,” he said. “They’re really strong in the classroom.”

Hornig is right: His team regularly places the most student-athletes on the MAC Academic Honor Roll of all teams at DeSales.

The women’s track and field team seems to be ever evolving and improving as they set their sights on the start of the outdoor season. The team’s next stop is the Susquehanna University Open in Selinsgrove, PA. They will then enter post-season competition, which includes the MAC Indoor Championships at Lehigh University’s Rauch Fieldhouse Feb. 26-27, the ECAC Championships in Staten Island March 4-5 and, if any athletes qualify, the NCAA Championships in Grinnell, Iowa, March 11-12.

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